Each week during the high school season, ESPNHS highlights five weekend matches that have a compelling storyline or could have significant state, region and/or national implications.
This week, three matches featuring ranked teams -- two in postseason -- highlight the schedule.
Friday, Feb. 3
No. 8 Jesuit College Prep (Dallas) vs. No. 9 Berkner (Richardson, Texas): This is the first of two regular-season meetings between the District 9-5A favorites who enter the match a combined 13-0. Jesuit moved into the POWERADE FAB 50 Top 10 on the heels of back-to-back tournament titles at its event and the Duncanville Invitational. Berkner, meanwhile, vaulted into the national picture by ending a 34-win run by defending state champion Southlake Carroll (Southlake, Texas).
No. 22 Jacksonville Episcopal (Jacksonville, Fla.) vs. Bolles School (Jacksonville, Fla.): The first of three Florida match-ups in this week’s Weekend Watch. Episcopal already has two wins over Bolles this season, but beating a quality team three times in a season is difficult. Episcopal edged Bolles 2-1 in the district final. They have worked their way back to the regional semifinal where the winner advances to the final eight in the state while the loser is finished.
No. 31 Gulliver Prep (Miami) vs. No. 32 Ransom-Everglades (Miami): This is the only Florida regional semifinal pitting a pair of nationally ranked programs. Nico Hurtado, who is pushing 60 goals this season, led Ranson-Everglades to an undefeated regular season, which included a win and a draw with Gulliver. However, Gulliver won the district final meeting last week. Despite that result, both advanced to this week’s regional tournament where they will meet for the fourth time this year. Unlike the three previous meetings, there is no tomorrow for the loser.
Saturday, Feb. 4
No. 15 Brophy Prep (Phoenix) vs. No. 39 Gilbert (Ariz.): Brophy Prep, the defending state champion, entered the state tournament as the No. 6 seed, which results in a blockbuster second-round matchup with Gilbert. The winner advances to next week’s state semifinals.
Gulfport (Miss.) vs. Clinton (Miss.): Gulfport and Clinton meet for the Class 6A state title for the second time in three years. Clinton won the title in 2009. Last year, Gulfport won the 6A crown. This year’s Gulfport-Clinton match will be the final contest of the year for the Mississippi High School Activities Association, kicking off at 7:30 p.m. local time.